With all traditional sports leagues on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Soccer League (USL) is also looking for a way to bring their fans together and get their fill of weekly sports. An announcement on Wednesday revealed they are the next in line to host a virtual tournament. However, unlike the Spanish league — who used FIFA — the USL will host a Rocket League tournament with 32 teams: the USL eCup.
A “professional” Rocket League tournament by USL
Running from March 31 – April 24, 32 teams from the USL and League One will take part in this 1v1 league. Each team will consist of a team captain and two alternate players. The league will have eight groups of four teams, with the group stage set to run between March 31 and April 10. Then, from April 13-25, the knockout stage begins with the top 2 teams from each group. It all culminates in a best-of-7 grand final to crown the USL eCup Champion on the last day.
Finding fun and the ability to come together
“We just wanted to create something fun and entertaining,” USL Senior Vice President of Digital Lizzie Seedhouse said. “More than anything, this tournament will be a great way to give clubs and supporters the ability to come together, compete and have some fun.”
It’s great to see traditional sports clubs coming up with new ideas to bring their fans together. With Formula 1 and European football clubs already hosting virtual tournaments, esports and other virtual entertainment are at the forefront of giving people something to do or watch at home.
However, it stands to reason that the USL eCup is mostly directed at the fans of the clubs. Watching a new player pick up Rocket League might be fun for the first few matches with some hilarious misplays, sure. But ultimately, it’s an esport that most watch for the insane things that professional players pull off. Hopefully, the United Soccer League will also take the opportunity to show highlights from tournaments like the RLCS. Still, the effort is much appreciated in these times and could perhaps even lead to more interest in Rocket League as a whole.